Happy Super Tuesday everyone! Gah. I love voting day. Normally it gets me energized and pumped for change. I'm nestled into my regular coffee shop/bar for my Tuesday morning routine. I am constantly refreshing Daily Kos and I'm eavesdropping on multiple conversations. This place is normally pretty divided between those who do tequila shots in the morning and head to their blue collar job and those who drink tea and don't ever go to a "job." The tequila folks stick to the tequila and the tea people stick to their respective corners. Except today. Today there is mingling. Today conversations are started over the peach "I Voted" stickers. There is division among the group. But that division isn't as simple as tea and tequila. Tea and tequila are mixing. They are in Obama, Clinton and Paul corners. As for me? I'm on the outskirts drinking my tea and listening in. I'm in the undecided corner. A surprising place to be. To be sure, I'm not here for lack of information. I'm not here for lack of concern, interest or opinion. I'm here because, well, I just can't decide. The way I see it, I have three options....
1. Vote for Obama. Vote for change and experience. Vote for someone who is promising to move the party in a new direction. I'll make history because I'll endorse a new face of the democratic party. I'll reward someone for fancy speeches and sound rhetoric. I'll vote for someone I like (and, dare I say, want to have a beer with) and smile knowing that I have spent the last 7 year blasting voters from 2000 and 2004 who argued they liked Bush better.
2. Vote for Clinton. Vote for change and experience. Vote for someone who is firmly rooted in the mistakes and progress of the Democratic party of old. I'll make history because I'll vote for a female president. I'll reward someone for 30+ years of service and hardwork. I'll vote for someone I like (and, dare I say, want to see succeed because of the sexism running wild in our system) and smile knowing that I have spent the better part of a this year blasting some media sources who would claim I would do something similar.
3. Vote for Edwards. Vote for the platform that I hold dear. Vote for someone who has consistently fought for the issues I hold dear. I won't make history, instead I'll be cast aside as a "wasted vote." People will talk about my percentage of the vote and laugh about how we must not have known Edwards dropped out. But I'll smile knowing that my message, although subtle, was a political one. I'll reward someone for setting the progressive, populist agenda in this race. I'll reward someone for talking about health care, poverty, and the fledgling economy from the start.
The option I'm leaning toward is 3. There is the cynical argument to be made that it won't matter. The polls pretty clearly show GA going for Obama. But I hate that "my vote won't matter" argument with a passion. There is the optimist argument to be made that I like both Clinton and Obama. I think they're both experienced and fighting for change. I think the differences between them are so minimal that if I hear one more argument about "mandates" I'm going to scream. If one's vote comes down to health care mandates, I'm concerned. If one becomes a political dogmatist over mandates, I'm incensed. Your vote should come down to who inspires you. Edwards inspired me which is why I'm so drawn to voting for him. I'm persuaded by both the benefit of a new direction for politics and a regression back to Clinton politics. In short, I'm persuaded. I'm also excited and hopeful. No matter which option I choose, I'll be glued to the television and political blogs tonight. This is an exciting day.